Herbal Medicine Ezine --  Wise Woman Wisdom
July 2005
Volume 5 Number 7
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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Childbearing & Mothering ...
Shamanic Midwifery
Hands That Heal Birth
by Jeannine Parvati Baker
Author of Conscious Conception

Shamanic Midwifery
Hands That Heal Birth
by Jeannine Parvati Baker

Part 2 continued from last month

As a spiritual midwife, my primary responsibility is to empower the mother to give birth spontaneously. The tendency is to enroll in the cult of experts who say, "I know more about your body than you do." My responsibility as a healer is to return any projections of power upon me to the family I am serving. The truth is that I am not medically nor surgically skilled, ~ I cannot deliver a mother's baby for her. Rather, I remind the mother that she is the only one able to give birth (her other option is to be delivered) ~ and I support her every way I can. In this way I am able to respond to my original calling ~ to be the guardian at the gate.

To aspiring healers who are called to attend childbirth, I advise the following; first, midwife, heal thyself, Next, do no harm. Remember your own birth and forgive any trespasses upon your soul. And always, listen to the still, small voice within ~ and the voices of countless mothers before who gave birth with dignity and as a natural expression of sexuality. Last, realize that mothers who give freebirth can connect with the Source of all creation and be the God-Us in action.

Pregnant Earth Art by Barbara GetrostIt is an honor to see the original face of any new one. Each baby born holds the light very purely and as a spiritual midwife, I greet the new one with celebration and gratitude for the ordinary miracle of birth.

Humility, patience, trust, integrity ~ these qualities are essential to a spiritual midwifery practice. I was called as a young woman myself, yet traditionally it is the grandmothers who are asked by Spirit to be midwives. Now that I am a grandmother, I see the wisdom in first being seasoned by life before answering the call. However, as a young midwife, I would take my children to births with me, considering this the best part of their home school experience.

Therefore I encourage young midwives to be who we really are ~ if we have children, to give a living model to the families we serve by being real mothers and taking care of our own children. Hygieia College was founded, in part, to meet the needs of mothers desiring to increase the upward mobility of their minds as mothers. Our college holds all gatherings and workshops with children not only invited, but honored.

At the edge of the millennium, more midwives are being ordained by the God-Us to heal birth without being indoctrinated nor controlled by medical licensure. In that one legal definition of a license is permission to do what society considers "dangerous or immoral, we are choosing to be midwives based on authentic need. Homebirth is not dangerous or immoral" ~ actually the converse is true ~ hospital birth is dangerous and immoral. The U.S. is 20th in the World Health Organization's statistics on perinatal mortality and morbidity. In other words, there are 20 other countries in the world where it is safer to give than birth than in an American hospital. The other countries with better statistics almost exclusively use midwives rather than doctors.

But what about the "consumer" or "patient" ~ do they not need protection? Let me clarify that I am not suggesting a "buyer beware" attitude toward midwifery. If a midwife is capable, she will stay in practice. If a midwife is not serving her community, she will eventually not be asked to attend anymore. We do not need the State in our bedroom for indeed, birth is a woman's expression of sexuality ~ and in my practice, not under legal or medical jurisdiction.

Traditionally midwives are the wise women, the herbalists and psychologists of their communities. They knew who was sleeping in whose lodge ~ and being attentive to the sexual dynamics of their communities, could facilitate the sexual energy of birth. A major eradication of wise women took place in the dark ages and most midwives were destroyed as "witches".

It has taken a long time for a renaissance in birth to occur. Midwives today must be courageous to practice in our constrictive and litigatious climate. Sometimes the most courageous amongst us are targets of litigation. Midwives need the support of the entire healing community to face the challenges ahead.

In 1986 I gave birth underwater to my last baby, Halley Sophia. As in our last three births, we hired no expert to attend "just in case". All my work is devoted to making every mother a midwife ~ so I practice what I preach. I live in a state where parents have the right to chose where and with whom they give birth so we broke no law. Yet, in my neighborhood there was an unease which, in my pregnant, intuitive condition, I sensed.

I went to my neighbor's church on a fast and testimony meeting day and addressed the congregation all at once. I said, "I have prayed about this birth and have been told that being home is our sacred place. However I have one fear and that is, if something goes wrong in this birth, I'm concerned what you would think. So, I now ask that you pray for a perfect delivery at home."

Pregnant Earth Art by Barbara GetrostAfter the meeting, the very ones who had been in the most fear about our upcoming unattended birth, now were enrolled as allies for they soothed me with stories of their own relation's various births at home and promised to pray for us.

With all these prayers, during Halleys ecstatic birth, I had a vision where I had eyes all over my body and could "see" multi-dimensionally. I realized that I was like the White Hole in astrophysics ~ that source point where something new comes into material existence, the opposite of a Black Hole. My uterus is the universe ~ I am the stargate.

As mother, I am the means by which life creatively expresses itself and giving freebirth is akin to the origin of stars. In other words, I know how God-Us must've felt giving birth to the universe.

How can my personal experiences in birth serve the world now? One idea of how evolution works, is the morphogenetic field theory of Rupert Sheldrake. It has been popularized by Ken Keyes in his book, THE HUNDREDTH MONKEY. What this idea states is that there are leaps of evolution for an entire species which occur simultaneously amongst all members regardless of geographic location. In regards to childbirth, I observe the phenomenon of morphic resonance in this way ~ more and more families are choosing to freebirth, all over the world.

When a critical mass is reached of ecstatic rather than suffering birth, there just may be a leap of faith. All mothers may remember that we are co-creators of life and have totally within each of us the capacity to show the world what our love looks like in the form of a baby. Whenever I give a talk or workshop, I imagine that the one mother who is the "critical mass" for freebirth may be attending and inspired by my word medicine to reclaim birth.

Indeed, each mother I speak with, in my mind, is the hundredth monkey, a change agent for evolution, as well as the God-Us incarnate. For as the canon of Hygieia College states, Healing One Mother is Healing the Earth. Blessed Be the Babies!!

Copyright © Jeannine Parvati Baker

Conscious Conception by Jeannine Parvati BakerConscious Conception by Jeanine Parvati Baker is the comprehensive reference for fertility awareness. All natural methods of family planning, both ancient and current, are presented within the larger context of sexuality and an evolving spirituality, which embraces the religious wisdom traditions and goes beyond.

"This book is a beautiful, breath of fresh air! Ms. Baker is a goddess, and will thoroughly help you to see the goddess within yourself. What can I say about this lovely work of art? As you meditate through the words of this "bible", you will begin to cultivate a fertile self you never knew you had. I bought this book to help with my fertility problems, and it is wonderful in this aspect, but it is oh, so much more! Please read this book."

Order Jeanine Parvati Baker's book at our bookshop

Or order via mail: Ash Tree Publishing PO Box 64 Woodstock, NY 12498 include a check or money order for $29.95 (CONSCIOUS CONCEPTION retails for $25.00 plus $4.95 shipping)


Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed

Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker.
192 pages, index, lovely illustrations.

Now in its 24th printing. A confirmed favorite with pregnant women, midwives, childbirth educators, and new parents. Packed with clear, comforting, and superbly helpful information.

read a review...



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